H 63° L 40°
  • clear-day
    Current Conditions
    Sunny. H 63° L 40°
  • clear-day
    Sunny. H 63° L 40°
  • clear-night
    Clear. H 63° L 40°

Wsb news on-demand

00:00 | 00:00


Wsb traffic on-demand

00:00 | 00:00


Wsb weather on-demand

00:00 | 00:00

APNewsbreak: Pentagon adopts new cellphone restrictions

After months of debate, the Defense Department approved Monday new restrictions for the use of cellphones and some other electronic devices in the Pentagon where classified information is present or discussed. But officials stopped far short of imposing an all-out ban.

The memo, which was obtained by The Associated Press, largely clarifies current procedures and calls for stricter adherence to long-held practices that require phones be left in storage containers outside secure areas where sensitive matters are discussed. But it makes clear that cellphones can still be used in common areas and other offices in the Pentagon if classified information is not present.

The memo was signed by Deputy Secretary Patrick Shanahan. Pentagon officials said they do not yet have a cost estimate for the construction of storage areas where the phones can be left without creating a threat to security.

"In this day and age, with the level of threat-based technologies, most of those devices should never get anywhere near a classified workspace," Garry Reid, the Pentagon's director for defense intelligence, told The Associated Press in an interview. "We know that mobile wireless devices have recording capabilities and cameras and it's not appropriate for those to be in secure workspaces. So we have to put control procedures in place."

More than 25,000 people work in the Pentagon, ranging from Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and the Joint Chiefs of Staff to restaurant workers and cleaning crews, and many use their phones for family emergencies and other needs.

Fitness trackers that don't have wireless or cellular technology or contain microphones are not covered by the memo, but will be addressed in a separate policy that is still being developed by defense officials. And medical devices with cellular technology must be approved on an individual basis.

The memo covers "laptops, tablets, cellular phones, smartwatches, and other devices" that are portable, can wirelessly transmit information and have "a self-contained power source."

The technology reviews were launched in late January after revelations that fitness trackers and other electronic devices can be used to pinpoint troop locations, military bases and other sensitive areas and can be tracked on an interactive, online map.

The Global Heat Map, published by the GPS tracking company Strava, uses satellite information to map the locations of subscribers to Strava's fitness service. The map showed activity from 2015 through September 2017, and scattered areas in warzones such as Iraq and Syria were illuminated, suggesting they could pinpoint military or government personnel using fitness trackers.

Published stories about the heat map raised concerns in the Pentagon, setting off lengthy reviews on the use of all electronic devices. Initial fears that the department would ban cellphones in the massive five-sided building were not realized. But the memo makes clear that secure areas must have storage containers located outside the room, and that mobile devices must be turned off and placed inside the box.

There will be random security inspections in classified areas and violators will be punished — including with the possible loss of their security clearance or access to the Pentagon.

The new rules, which take effect immediately and must be fully implemented within six months, are likely to trigger the installation of more large, metal, multi-sectioned lock-boxes for phones.

For years, rolling wooden containers with multiple slots for phones have been used around the building, including in the hall outside the Tank — the Joint Staff's conference room on the Pentagon's E Ring, where senior leaders routinely meet and hold secure video-conferences. Those are not likely to be used as much due to fire safety and other potential evacuation concerns.

The size and complexity of the Pentagon workforce — which includes thousands of commuters, and a wide range of employees, including some who may occasionally work from home, contributed to the lengthy deliberations over the plan.

"You can start out saying no phones in the building at all," said Reid. But he said the discussions eventually centered on how to set up effective and pragmatic restrictions on mobile devices in classified areas. "The Pentagon is a bit of a unique environment - where you have everything from public tours to varying levels of classified workspaces."

Throughout the day, workers can be seen huddled in unclassified or non-secure areas near doorways, in the courtyard or in outer-ring offices where they can get a wireless signal and make calls or scroll through emails.

The memo allows for a variety of exceptions. For example, some senior officials have government-issued mobile devices, and those can be approved for use in secure spaces if the camera, microphone and wireless capabilities can be disabled. Exceptions won't be granted for personal phones.

The policy doesn't apply to any devices that have minimal storage and transmission capabilities such as key fobs used for medical alert, motor vehicles or home security systems.

Read More

There are no comments yet. Be the first to post your thoughts. or Register.


  • Pop singer Britney Spears will be returning to Las Vegas for a new residency next year, Variety reported. >> Read more trending news  Spears’ “Dominations” show will debut in February at the Park MGM. The show was announced on Ellen DeGeneres’ YouTube channel, Billboard reported. Tickets will go on sale Friday. In January, Spears ended a four-year run in Vegas at Planet Hollywood’s Axis Theater, Variety reported. She recently ended a European tour with Pitbull as her opening act. According to Pollstar, Spears grossed $2.38 million at Paris’ 15,000-capacity AccorHotels Arena on Aug 28 and 29.
  • Better bundle up, Georgia! Most of the state will feel some of the coldest temperatures Georgia has had in almost six months. Severe Weather Team 2 Meteorologist Brian Monahan said that parts of Georgia have seen temperature drops more than 20 degrees colder from Saturday morning. Back to 44 now after a low of 43 this morning in Atlanta -- the coldest since we dropped to 36 degrees on April 17th! @wsbtv pic.twitter.com/vbm4qLFO4Z — Brian Monahan, WSB (@BMonahanWSB) October 21, 2018 While it'll be a cold start, we'll see temperatures climb up into the 60s with lots of sunshine.  Severe Weather Team 2 be tracking how long the sunshine will stick around on Channel 2 Action News Sunday AM!
  • After seeing their ranks decimated in 2010 during a mid-term election backlash against the Obama health law, times have changed for Democrats in the 2018 elections for Congress, as polls show voters moving away from Republicans on the issue of health care, as Democrats “are now embracing it whole-heartedly” in the final days of the campaign. they In a report issued last week titled, “2018: The Health Care Election,” Wesleyan University’s media trackers found that health care “is most prominent in ads supporting Democrats, appearing in 54.5 percent” of their commercials. The Wesleyan Media Project said back in 2010 – in the big Tea Party wave election for the GOP – Democrats talked about health care in less than 9 percent of their advertisements. Year-over-year comparisons show that while Dems previously avoided the issue of health care after the Affordable Care Act was passed, they are now embracing it whole-heartedly https://t.co/B2tHGU6B6j @wesleyan_u pic.twitter.com/sG14qUo5jF — WesleyanMediaProject (@wesmediaproject) October 19, 2018 Recent polling also backs up the change of heart by Democrats, as polls consistently are showing more support for the Obama health law than a few years ago. Public support for what the GOP derides as “Obamacare” peaked during the unsuccessful effort by the Republican Congress in 2017-2018 to repeal and replace that law with a GOP sponsored plan. A new Fox News poll released on October 17 shows voters nationally give President Donald Trump a thumbs down on he’s handled health care, with 37 percent of voters approving, and 53 percent of voters disapproving. The divide is slightly larger, at 37-55, for ‘likely’ voters in the November mid-term elections. And of those who see health care as a big issue, they are definitely more drawn to candidates on the Democratic side. Obamacare favorability at an all-time high in FOX News poll. Can’t wait for the closing ads from Republicans: “And if those Democrats try to take away your Obamacare, I’ll fight to protect it like I’ve always done.” pic.twitter.com/pJaa7MVkHK — Nick Gourevitch (@nickgourevitch) October 18, 2018 But the President and other Republicans this past week have been expressing their support for protection those with pre-existing conditions, possibly feeling the election heat on the issue. “All Republicans support people with pre-existing conditions, and if they don’t, they will after I speak to them,” the President tweeted. “I am in total support.” Statements like that from the President – and a variety of GOP lawmakers have left Democrats in disbelief, as they accuse Republicans of completely changing their tune on health care in order to portray themselves as something that they are not. The hutzpah of the GOP on health care this election is stunning. I’m listening right now to NY Rep. John Faso on NPR claim he’s against ACA repeal. He voted FOR the repeal bill!!!! It ended insurance for 30m Americans! Does the think his constituents are so stupid they forgot? — Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) October 20, 2018 “President Trump and Republicans will do anything to undermine health care and pre-existing condition protections for patients and families across the country,” said Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA). “What. A. Bunch. Of. Lies,” tweeted House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi.  
  • The Latest on President Donald Trump's decision to pull the U.S. from an arms control agreement with Russia (all times local): 9:05 a.m. Germany's foreign minister says President Donald Trump's intention to pull out of an arms control agreement with Russia is 'regrettable.' Heiko Maas says in a statement that the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty is 'an important pillar of our European security architecture.' He says Trump's announcement 'raises difficult questions for us and Europe.' The 1987 treaty prohibits the United States and Russia from possessing, producing or test-flying a ground-launched cruise missile with a range of 300 miles to 3,400 miles. Maas says Germany has repeatedly urged Moscow to 'clear up the serious allegations of breaching the INF treaty, which Russia has so far not done.' He says Germany is urging Washington to 'consider the possible consequences' of its decision, including for a U.S.-Russian nuclear disarmament treaty beyond 2021. ___ 8:10 a.m. Britain's defense secretary says his country stands 'absolutely resolute' with the United States as President Donald Trump says he'll pull out from a landmark arms control agreement with Russia. Gavin Williamson blames Russia for endangering the treaty. He's calling on the Kremlin to 'get its house in order.' Trump says he'll exit the agreement because Russia has violated it 'for many years' and it's preventing the U.S. from developing new weapons. Backing Trump, Williamson tells the Financial Times that Moscow has made a 'mockery' of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. The 1987 pact prohibits the United States and Russia from possessing, producing or test-flying a ground-launched cruise missile with a range of 300 miles to 3,400 miles ___ 5 a.m. A top Russian diplomat says President Donald Trump's intention to withdraw from a landmark treaty on nuclear weapons is a perilous move. And a Russian senator says the U.S. move to leave the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces treaty would undermine nuclear nonproliferation efforts. Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov was quoted as telling state news agency Tass that 'this would be a very dangerous step.' He says the move 'will cause the most serious condemnation from all members of the international community who are committed to security and stability.' Konstatin Kosachev is head of the foreign affairs committee in Russia's upper house of parliament. He says on Facebook that a U.S. withdrawal from the treaty would mean 'mankind is facing full chaos in the nuclear weapons sphere.' ___ 12:30 a.m. President Donald Trump says he will exit a landmark arms control agreement the United States signed with the former Soviet Union. He says Russia is violating the pact and it's preventing the U.S. from developing new weapons. The 1987 pact helps protect the security of the U.S. and its allies in Europe and the Far East. It prohibits the United States and Russia from possessing, producing or test-flying a ground-launched cruise missile with a range of 300 miles to 3,400 miles. Trump is saying that 'Russia has violated the agreement. They have been violating it for many years.' The agreement has constrained the U.S. from developing new weapons, but Trump said America will begin developing them unless Russia and China agree not to possess or develop the weapons.
  • The Florida Department of Children and Families has confirmed the death of a 5-year-old girl who was badly beaten in a Jacksonville home. >> Watch the news report here ActionNewsJax reported Friday that sources said the girl was on life support after an extreme case of abuse in a home at the Oak Tree Apartments. >> On ActionNewsJax.com: Child dies following incident at Oak Tree Apartments, DCF says The child’s grandmother told ActionNewsJax reporter Ryan Nelson that the child’s mother, Michelle Cannimore, is behind bars, and so is her current boyfriend, Jonte Harris. Cannimore is charged with child neglect and child abuse with intentional infliction of physical or mental injury. Harris is charged with aggravated battery on a child using a deadly weapon. Neighbors said they feared abuse may have been present in the home. They said they could hear screams coming from the home. “I told [detectives] the same thing I'm telling you,” said one neighbor. 'That I would hear that, and I was like, ‘What's going on?’” >> Read more news stories  ActionNewsJax obtained a statement from DCF Interim Secretary Rebecca Kapusta: “I am absolutely horrified and disgusted at the abuse this child endured in her short life. That anyone would hurt an innocent child is shameful and DCF will work closely with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office to hold anyone responsible for her abuse fully accountable under the law. 'There are not sufficient words to describe the pain those who loved her are feeling right now, but the department will continue to ensure her sibling is in a safe home and that she receives the highest quality care as she recovers from this loss.” DCF also said the family has a history with the welfare system. “We’d try to go ask if she's alright,” said the neighbor. “She would just open the door for a second. She wouldn't open the door all the way.” Another woman, who asked that her identity be concealed for her protection, claimed that Cannimore’s personality seemed to change after she began dating Harris. “She will have her head down,” she said. “And that’s how she would be.” So far, no murder charges have been filed in the case. ActionNewsJax requested the arrest report from the Sheriff’s Office on Friday but has not yet received it.
  • The day after nobody won a $1 billion Mega Millions jackpot, the numbers were drawn for a relatively paltry Powerball prize of $470 million. But like Mega Millions, no one took home Powerball and the pot continues to rise. The winning numbers for Saturday's drawing were 16, 54, 57, 62, 69 with a Powerball of 23. With no one claiming the big prize, the Powerball drawing on Wednesday -- one day after a $1.6 billion Mega Millions drawing -- will be $620 million. The cash payout is approximately $354.3 million. The Powerball is the third-largest in the game's history and sixth-largest in U.S. lotto history. [ RELATED: No winner in Mega Millions; historic jackpot jumps to $1.6 billion] You can watch next Mega Millions drawing Tuesday and Powerball drawing Wednesday LIVE before Channel 2 Action News Nightbeat at 11 p.m. There were a number of runner-up prizes. There were $2 million winners in Florida and Tennessee, and $1 million winners in Arizona, Connecticut, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey and Washington. The first five balls were drawn from a pool of 69 and the Powerball from a pool of 26, making the odds of getting all six number correct 292,201,338 to 1, according to the Powerball website. [PHOTOS: Behind the scenes of the $1 billion Mega Millions drawing] A single winning ticket Saturday would have been eligible for a cash payout of $268.6 million. Combined with a new Mega Millions jackpot of $1.6 billion, there is more than $2 billion in top-prize money between the two lottery games — and millions more available for subordinate prizes. The Mega Millions top prize of $1.6 billion has a cash payout option of $904 million, but both can grow depending on the volume of ticket sales. [READ: Here's why no one has to know if you win the Mega Millions or Powerball jackpot]